RTI Judgement Series: How government agencies take away livelihoods
Moneylife Digital Team 08 January 2013

This case reveals how government agencies take away livelihoods of people without bothering about compensating the affected. This is the 19th in a series of important judgements given by Shailesh Gandhi, former CIC, that can be used or quoted in an RTI application

The divisional commissioner of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of New Delhi was directed by the Central Information Commission (CIC) to ensure that details of compensation and rehabilitation to the affected persons who have been displaced must be made available at least on the website. While giving this important judgement, Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner, asked the divisional commissioner to also ensure that information about how the appellant could get the compensation for his loss is communicated to him.


“The Divisional Commissioner, Govt. of NCT of Delhi is directed to ensure that the details mentioned above are communicated to the appellant before 15 June 2009. The Public Authority will also ensure that in compliance with Section 4 requirements details of the project affected persons and the rehabilitation due to them is made available suo moto before 15 August 2009,” the Commission said in its order dated 27 May 2009.


Delhi resident Sunil Kant, on 5 January 2009, sought information from the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Land & Building Department, Government of NCT Delhi about his land, compensation and rehabilitation. He sought information regarding his land, requisition of which has been done by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) due to which he was forced to live without any source of livelihood. He has asked that when and what amount will be given to him as compensation and where will he be rehabilitated. He has said that his land was under Delhi Development Authority (DDA) after 1947 and later acquired by DMRC for construction.


The PIO did not even reply. Sunil Kant, then approached the First Appellate Authority (FAA). In its order issued on 13 March 2009, the FAA asked the PIO to inform the appellant (Kant) about the status of the action taken on the said representation along with copy of policy of rehabilitation within a period of 15 days receipt of these orders.


After the order from FAA, the PIO gave a copy of the policy for the rehabilitation of Metro Project Affected Persons. Not satisfied with this, Sunil Kant then approached the Commission.


During the hearing before the CIC, he stated that he had a 100 sq yard shop where he was running tailoring shop and a barber shop. He said he has been displaced from there on 6 June 2008 and is running from pillar to post.


Mr Gandhi noted that the appellant is not a well-educated person and has been deprived from his livelihood. “It is a sad comment that a law abiding citizen is deprived of his property and livelihood by a government without being given alternate place and compensation,” he observed.


The Commission in its order issued on 27 May 2009, said, “A modus operandi of this nature, apart from depriving a citizen of his fundamental rights does not do credit to any state which claims to be following the rule of law. The PIO states he is helpless since the government has not fixed any method to provide rehabilitation to such citizens.”


Mr Gandhi then directed the divisional commissioner of the Govt of NCT of Delhi to ensure that details of compensation and rehabilitation to the affected persons who have been displaced in this manner must be made available at least on the website and also to make sure that the appellant receives information about how he could get compensation for his loss.





Decision No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000734/3446


Appeal No. CIC/SG/A/2009/000734


Appellant                                            : Sunil Kant


Respondent                                        : The Deputy Secretary (LA/PIO)

                                                            Land & Building Department,

                                                            GNCTD, IP Estate,

                                                            New Delhi

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